Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Newbery Foray #5: The Story of Mankind

The Story of Mankind

I recently "finished" reading "The Story of Mankind" by Hendrik Willem van Loon, the very first book to win the Newbery Medal.  And I have to be honest, if more of the books are like that one its amazing the award has lasted this long.  I mean, it's a book written for children, but I don't know if the children would appreciate it. :)  Basically the author decided to write a book giving all of known history, for his children or grandchildren, maybe.  And it doesn't exactly end up being a history of all the world, mostly just the Middle East and Europe with a little bit of America thrown in.  But yeah, it was long, and for the most part slow moving, as history tends to be.  And I say "finished" because since the book won the Newbery Medal back in 1922, the author and then his son and now another guy have kept adding history to the book to keep up with...you know...history. Except that all of recorded history up to the 1920s took 500 pages, and then the last hundred years took another 150 pages. Since my main objective was to read Newbery Medal winners, and all that was added after the book won the award, and I'd already been slogging my way through it for 3+ months, I didn't feel too obligated to finish the additional chapters.

In any case, this was by far my least favorite of any Newbery Medal winner I've ever read. I would NOT recommend that you read it unless you have some kind of weird goal to read all the Newbery Medal winners.  I guess I should say that I did learn some new stuff about pre-20th century European history, seeing as how that's something that I've never known or learned much about.

Friday, May 25, 2012

A few photos from Utah's Red-White scrimmage

Took these photos just over a month ago, and since I haven't really posted anything since then, I figured today was a good a day as any:

Wynn throwing the TD to Dres

Great catch by Dres Anderson
It was kinda fun to capture both ends of this TD pass from Jordan Wynn to Dres Anderson so well.

West side
I mostly liked this picture because it was a nice view of the west side of the stadium where we sit, but it also got a fair number of view on Flickr because someone posted it on BYU's fanboard as a look at how many people showed up for the Spring scrimmage. Our season tickets are way up there below the word "THE", in the shady portion.

Utah Red-White Game Spring 2012 060
Because our seats were pretty good for the scrimmage, I was able to get some nice shots looking down the line-of-scrimmage.

More photos here.

Looking forward to the season. Its only a couple months away  now.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Who is Ken Jennings?

A couple weeks ago, I went to my first ever book signing.  Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy! fame) has a new book out ("Maphead") and he was in town to read a bit of the book and then be available for signing of said book.

My friend Kathryn agreed to accompany me to this nerdapalooza and it was kind of fun to hear part of his book and then participate in a bit of a geography trivia contest.  He threw out Smarties to whoever yelled out the correct answer first and then after a while had some of the top Smartie gatherers come up for a one-on-one-on-one faceoff with the winner getting a free book.  I got 3 packages of Smarties and was probably on par with whoever the last one he asked to come up was, but I can afford to buy a book, so not a huge loss, I guess. :) And when I finally got to the front of the book signing line, he did mention that I had done pretty well and maybe he should have had me come up.

Anyway, I am not the proud owner of a (yet unread) signed copy of Maphead by Ken Jennings.

Ken Jennings
It feels like he's looking right at me!

Photo w/ Ken
with Ken